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November 12, 2007

Readers’ Blogs

As a blogger, I have a smart group of readers. Not only do they post intelligent comments that correct or expand on what I blog; many of them also have blogs of their own. It’s particularly fun when a conversation seems to go back and forth between our blogs.

Aswath is a frequent commenter, especially on things having to do with telephony which he knows better than almost anyone else. He’s invented a clever service called EnThinnai which is a step forward in online communication; I saw it at VON and was impressed. Aswath posted comparing EnThinnai to the FWD design principles I posted about. I’m flattered to say that his service (independently) makes many of the same assumptions about how communications applications should and shouldn’t be designed. We disagree – as we long have – on the continued relevancy of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Aswath knows that the PSTN could be made to do much more than it does; I know that it is unlikely to happen given the ownership of that network. I do have to admit there are a few people still using it.

David Usher is a fellow Vermonter. He recently posted about energy reality here in Vermont. We get two-thirds of our power from Vermont Yankee (nuclear) and very large scale Quebec Hydro. Both of these deals are up for renewal in the next couple of years. Both will cost us more. Both are reliable and clean sources of energy; we can’t replace either of them with anything except even more expensive fossil fuel in the short or the medium term. So we need to renew the deals. David says all this and I agree.

He writes: “…It's unrealistic to think that wind, solar, small hydro, wood, cows or any other Vermont-based source of electricity can add significantly to our supply. For the moment, these are merely 'feel-good', but unrealistic choices; helpful, perhaps in 2050, but inconsequential in 2015.”

Only thing I’d add is that we SHOULD also be working on long-term sources. He and I agree that there’s a lot more electricity in our future as we segue off fossil fuel.

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